These days her workplace is her garden.
"It does a lot of things for me. I find the intellectual dimension is far beyond what I ever, ever hoped to accomplish. You could take horticulture as deep and as far as you'd ever want to," said Ballato.
So far, she's taken it to the master gardener level and in the process she's discovered a tool for perfecting plants.
"Being the plant geek I've turned out to be, I discovered that plants grown in a self-watering container grow far better than they grow in any other way."
Self-watering containers have been on the market for a while, but Lorraine could never find one for round plant holders. So, she developed her own and wrote a book on the topic.
Here's how it works: “You need a pot. Any round container. You need a platform to put the plant on. You need a way to get water into the reservoir and you need a way to figure out if the water is up or down,” said Ballato.
Using a self-watering planter cuts down on watering with a hose and saves water in the process.
“I just fill the container when it needs the water. Before, I would have to water and I would just water indiscriminately. I would drag the hose around in the morning begrudgingly. By the way, it was a chore!"
Now she has wasted less water and says she has more perfect plants.